Sea Angels

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These ethereal beings are known as Sea Angels (Gymnosomata) and they are quite magnificent.

Flapping its wings, this tiny translucent creature makes its way through the water like some mystical being from the spirit realm. No wonder they are called Sea Angels. Well just overlook those two, glaring horns on its head.

nudi branch - sea angle


Sea angels
(scientific name Gymnosomata) are actually sea slugs. The sea angel is actually translucent and shell-less. It does not grow more than 5 cm in length. The projections found on top of the angel’s head are actually its sensory organs. Its feet have even evolved into wing-like appendages called the parapodia. So remember, it’s not arms or wings that a sea angel flaps, but instead its feet!

With their translucent bodies that gracefully swim through the ocean depths, it’s easy to see how they got their name.
These guys aren’t really otherworldly, though. They are actually small swimming sea slugs that span six different families, similar to nudibranchs. The largest species only reaches 5 cm in length!

Here is a short Video clip of Sea Angels

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Sea angels (scientific name Gymnosomata) are actually sea slugs.
  • The sea angel is actually translucent and shell-less.
  • It does not grow more than 5 cm (2 inches) in length.
  • The projections found on top of the angel’s head are actually its sensory organs.
  • Its feet have even evolved into wing-like appendages called the parapodia. So remember, it’s not arms or wings that a sea angel flaps, but instead its feet!
  • There are loads and loads of Sea Angels in the world, from the equator to underneath the ice of the polar regions.
  • Those species in colder waters tend to be larger than those of warmer areas.
  • they can sometimes gather into huge congregations – some 300 individuals per cubic metre for the big, coldwater fellows
  • Some Sea Angels eat absolutely NOTHING but Sea Butterflies. They might even focus all their attention on just 1 or 2 species of those delightful flutterers.
  • Some… “Angels” are ambush predators. Others, while usually slow moving, are capable of a burst of speed to overcome their prey. They even have special muscles that are used for just this purpose, and they’re left unused until bloodlust calls them to action.
  • Once captured, the poor Sea Butterfly is grasped with tentacles that come out of the mouth. Hooks can then be used to pull the victim right out of its shell to be eaten whole, or it can be scraped out using the radula.

Oh and here’s a little pop culture trivia for you: Anyone know which POKEMON characters are based off of Sea Angels? Huh? Any Ash Ketchum wannabes out there? OK, I’ll just tell you since no one spoke up: Phione and Manaphy!! AHH!

Phione
Manaphy

Source: Science Hound, Featured Creature, Real Monstrosities

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August 27, 2016 |

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